Freetown, Sierra Leone - 2016 - These are the faces of children left without parents, whom the Salesians look after and educate for life. They are "faces that speak of the future."
(Photo: Alberto Lopez, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid)
(ANS – Badajoz) – One of the city buses of Badajoz, in Extremadura, Spain, has been sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Thee it will become a mobile unit that can help thousands of children at risk of exclusion who are living on the streets of the city. It will serve to provide medical assistance, food and psychosocial help.
(ANS - Lungi) - Fr Ubaldino Andrade Hernandez is a Salesian missionary who has worked in Sierra Leone. He was in Rome at the Generalate during the photographic exhibition: "Ebola, and beyond Ebola". His testimony is a sign of trust in God. He says that in those strange days of the epidemic they were living with "a real fear of death” but they decided to stay there as parents for many abandoned children." Looking at the pictures of the exhibition, the memories came to mind, and his eyes paused to remember his experiences. "Staying was the best option."
(ANS - Freetown) - The problem of street children, even after many years of efforts, continues to be a difficult issue to deal with, both by the Government and by institutions working for the protection of minors. Last December, 28 children who had been housed at the Salesian centre "Don Bosco Fambul" in Freetown, Sierra Leone, were happily welcomed back into their families. Following that, staff from the Salesian house went out to the streets looking for other vulnerable children and suggesting the Salesian rehabilitation programme to them.
(ANS – Freetown) – Suntia is a girl accommodated in the “Girls Shelter” of Don Bosco Fambul house in Freetown. She came in contact with Don Bosco when she was having a tough time with her father. “During this period I was selling different types of items just to raise money for our upkeep and to cover the rent. Subsequently, I was going around with a placard begging the people for money. Unfortunately, my biological father abused me sexually”. This is the story of her suffering and rebirth.
(ANS – Freetown) – On the evening of Thursday 1st December a fire outbreak completely destroyed “Angola Town”, a slum in front of Don Bosco Fambul. The slum served as a residence for 300 families and approximately 1500 people, most of them children and youngsters. Don Bosco Fambul – which stands just a street away from the slum – was saved thanks to the orientation of the wind and to the intervention of Mary Help of Christians.
El Salvador - Archbishop Rivera Damas, SDB: the silent and humble friend of Archbishop Romero
(ANS - San Salvador) – Martyrdom was the fate destined for Archbishop Óscar Romero. His first successor, the Salesian Archbishop Arturo Rivera Damas, was destined to die a quiet death in a hospital bed. Now they are both buried in the cathedral in San Salvador, one in a large sepulchral monument, the other portrayed on the wall behind the Romero mausoleum. Even in life he was always behind Romero, silent and humble.
Paula Figueroa, who worked with both of them, speaks about the figure of the Salesian Archbishop.
What plot, Lord, are you weaving?
On a day of protests and clashes in Venezuela, two young people were assassinated. Carlos José Moreno Barón was killed while on his way to a football pitch. He did not reach his destination. Paola Ramírez Gómez, 23, was killed while returning from a job interview as she was passing in front of San Carlos Square in San Cristóbal. Neither of them was participating in the protests.
Czech Republic - Meeting of Salesian Publishers from Europe
(ANS - Prague) - Representatives of 11 Salesian Publishers from all over Europe met in Prague from 20 to 23 April to analyse the current situation and plan activities in response to new challenges arising from the new type of readers, Salesian pastoral approach, the economic situation and the market.
Mexico – Kindness matters
(ANS – Tijuana) – Between May 2016 and January 2017, a Haitian tsunami hit Tijuana. These migrants arrived dizzy, exhausted, cold, hungry, and broke after their threemonth land journey from Brazil. Some were sick. Some had delivered babies or miscarried en route. Some had buried their dead along the way or watched helplessly as loved ones were swept away by swollen rivers. Some left their dead to rot in the woods. Some were stripsearched, robbed, raped, or exploited as they traveled through Central America.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
WHY WE HAVE LIFE IN ABUNDANCE
My thought goes to the Salesian presences around the world because our dream is that they might be true dispensers of life to so many young people, and a life in abundance, an authentic, true life which gives them dignity and helps them also experience the great gift that God is in their lives.